Make a Pledge, Write a Haiku and Read Haiku from Your Neighbors

Celebrate National Haiku Poetry Day by expressing your creativity by writing a haiku about your experience during the pandemic.

writing poetry

"Poetry" by Rachel Knickmeyer

Happy International Haiku Poetry Day!

Today, Jennifer Lynn, Marty Moss-Coane, Dave Heller and the rest of the WHYY family are celebrating International Haiku Poetry Day by reading a few haiku on air throughout the day.

Support the WHYY programs you love with a donation and share a haiku about how you’re feeling during these difficult times. We’ll post them anonymously here on this page, and WHYY hosts will read a select few on the radio! So, if you listen closely, you just might hear your favorite hosts read your poetry to thousands of other NPR fans.

A haiku is a short form of Japanese poetry with the following characteristics:

  • It contains three lines.
  • It has five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the last line.
  • It does not rhyme.
  • It frequently has a seasonal reference and is usually about nature or natural phenomena.
  • It juxtaposes two subjects or images to make one, stronger image.

Public media is a community movement, and you are part of it. The news and entertainment you count on is counting on you. Thank you.

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Here are some of our favorite submissions so far:

The daffodils bloom
Cherry trees unloose their hair
Tender greens break out

People panicking
Hiding secretly, hoarding
Everything’s off track

Fewer wrens sing now
They continue to search for bugs

Kids drawing rainbows
Bright colored sidewalks, windows
See joy everywhere

I am leaving home
'cuz I am very hungry
I see McDonald's!

Sequestered with thoughts
Ex-husbands, a virus
But it's Spring, so Live!

A tattoo artist
Photographs a flash of red
On a branch instead

We stare at a flat screen
The sound from a single point
Soon, soon to find their depth

The sun shining bright
Echoes pots and pans ringing
While scrubs seek sound sleep

Who do I count on
Chaos is uni- ver – sal
You shine on my day

Grim stalking virus
Reaps a toll on our fortunes
Still the robin sings

Open your front door
See what the world still offers
Do not be afraid

The cleaning lady
Is working from home
Sends me instructions

Such a short commute
Thirteen steps and zero lights
No traffic at all

We are freaking out
Work, no work, kids, school, boredom
Pets, however, thrive

Sheltered in place
My heart Not so settled
Healing hurts

The outer world blooms
And when we emerge from dens
Will we see shadows?

An American in Paris
The Pines of Rome I listen to the music as
I sightsee from home

Zooming and blooming
Socially isolating
Yearning for bear hugs

Nothing seems very real
Weird and sad I sit alone
My thoughts turn to God

The sky's been sunny
And the weather has been great
But I'm stuck inside

So glad to hear facts
Enjoy hearing the voices! NPR

Love envelops us
When bleak streaks weaken our heart
Be still; bathe in warmth

Spring air in my lungs
Let's keep the virus out please
Delicious spring air

I'm not your hero
Essential? No. Exploited
Can't afford to quit

She sits quietly
Universe streaming its song
Negating sadness

Each day I work and
Wonder if my flimsy mask
Will stay death’ s fingers

Birdsong in the air
To the ears in quarantine
A welcome concert

April snow flurries
Cherry, crab-apple, pear buds
Drift by the curbside

The greening of spring
Comes just as we need it most
Staying home, watching

Cold spring afternoon
Snowflakes and cherry blossoms
Mixing metaphors

Not wearing lipstick
Since masks became de riguer
Mascara, though? Yes

Cherry my love
Smile in the sunshine
Laugh in the cool night

Watching not watching
Blooming unblooming all day
Dying not dying

I love you I do
Every minute maybe not
But for all of life

Jealous of the birds
Huddled with friends eating snacks
They have it so good

Getting feisty, the
Mockingbirds and blue jay, all
While the sparrows watch

Poor mom fears sending
Child to school across the street
But she has no choice

Terry and Marty
Gracing the air waves help us
To dispel despair

Today the tears fell
Changes bring pain, however
The future's still Bright!


The brown urban bird
Is too busy to notice
Petals in the way

Beautiful spring
He trumped the lovely word
We are left looking pretty

A walk with trees meet
Me, bide their time unlonely
Joined truly deeply

Alone with my phone
How can I help you today
Thank you for caring

On quarantine watch
Phases of the moon unfazed
By microbes below

Pollen dusts the air
Recalling other Spring times
When only spores lurked

Truth is hard to find
To trust is even more rare
HYY is both

Lacy white blossoms
Blowing off the trees turned to
Mid-April snowflakes

Time slows trees in bloom
Dish washer is full again
Spring is here ready or not

The certain return
Of eclipsed dandelions
Not pulled by the roots

Petals falling down
People struggling to survive
Hope and love abound

Crayfish eat dead things
Which must seem tasty to them
Zombie arthropods

Cocoon country practice
Distance, solitude
Emerging summer

My curly sweet pup
Frolicking in Springtime sun
A light in the dark

Another world toils
Under the cover of night
With dawn comes respite

Spring's glad hand has strewn
White violets on the hill
Nature rejoices

Privileged nation
All the monkeys laugh at our
Feigned evolution

Good night my ventilator
Sad to say, never got here
So see you later

Out in my backyard
I plant seeds and wish them well
I know you will rise!

Haiku Teachers, students lost
Machines are in between us
Heavy hearts abound

The store shelves are empty
It's time for a new hobby
Look! I made bread!

Before Corona
I just texted my besties
Turns out FaceTime works

I did this for you
Because of somebody else
It was done today

Facts matter greatly
Truth is important always
Keep Fighting for truth

In isolation
Under the blue sunlit sky
Flowers bloom, Can I?

Fresh spring plumage shines
Observing birds brings new hope
Nature carries on

The sun shines through clouds
I breathe the air through my mask
Birds singing sweet songs

Public radio
We can't ask for more!

Catching morning breeze
Weeping Cherry Blossoms- tears
Many gone too soon

Viral connections
Man's nature being tested
A new world order

Sewing masks again
Fabric, elastic, and thread
May they protect you

Quarantine yuck, there’s
Not enough shows to watch, I
Need to see my friends

I am more aware
My brother is annoying
He drives me crazy

An empty city
From my high story window
A cyclist looks up

Time so slow so fast
Sad, happy, inward I look
Spring does not know breathe

Seeds fall and open
Cracked rocks next to rushing stream
New forest grows old

Fluffy clouds, recent
Storm, clean air, lock down relief
Inhale, remove mask

The raging run-off
Tears at the cottonwood's roots
Life means holding on

Fierce April snow blast
Forsythia emerges
Gold branches skyward

Together alone
Puzzles, TV, planting herbs
Mom what's for dinner

Never dared imagine
Grown kids together again
Silver linings abound

Here, in this place, I
Hold my restoration flame
Unsnuffed, burning low

An unsettled time
Going forth with NPR
Separate no more

Schools remain online
Parents are feeling anxious
Kids play doomsday games

A cardinal bumps my window
All during spring's light
Does she see me?

Out of the ashes
A fiery bird flies free
Freedom once again

Here is my Haiku
This has seven syllables
Now comes the last line

Oh uneasy times
But helpful information
Each day from the WHYY

Without fins or gills
The gefilte fish swims
With difficulty

Filling days and nights
Public Radio

I’m in my workshop
Fixing my 5’7’’ quadfin
To ride another wave

A walk around the yard
Friends close in heart yet far away
We will embrace once again

North Carolina
Have to stream online


Virgilio of Camden
Jersey-born haiku
Words of stillness said

Prepping food for work
Hospitals don’t ever close
Wish my scrubs still fit

Mourning Dove cooing
Quarantine gift to humans
Riches redefined

These quarantine days
Are mere inner reflections
Of our truest selves

Stay six feet apart!
Toddler approaches for hug
So much puzzlement!

Got my stimulus
I love public radio
Please keep making it

Pace by the window
Imprisoned by a virus
Comfortable jail

Waves flow in and out
Yogis find ujjayi breath
Our lives in balance

The new Groundhog Day
Up, Pray, Eat, Zoom, Eat, Zoom, Sleep
Remember, Spring's here

Green grass wet with rain
Glowing brightly in springtime
Will need cutting soon

Walking city streets
Strangers eyes above their masks
We can’t mask our hearts

Lovely toads emerge
Trilling in the bright moonlight
How the water sings

You shut us all down except
Daffodils still bloom

At dusk, darting bats
Nosh on bugs
But, no thanks for Coronavirus

Indoor ennui
Too much TV
Radio respite needed

How to cope and grow
Public Radio is there
Bringing the world close

Blue petals will dance
As they nod To the soli-
tary bumblebee

Japanese Maple
Leafs out so radiantly
Arching towards the sky

Nature awakens
Quiet, empty streets remain
Revel in the peace

Quarantine season
Blossoms abound, unaware
Petals fill the air

As we know,
Haiku Are short poems with three lines and
Seventeen sylla....

Box filled with paper
Date to file is extended
Thank you Pandemic

I live all alone
My phone has become a door
To welcome friends in

radio is on
mix an apple martini
time for Terry Gross

I am not alone
when everyone in the world
is in the same place

Business look in front
Trimmed hair for a Zoom meeting
COVID mullet now

Fifteen-year-old son
Food, emotions depleted
Trapped! War and Peace. Hugs

My Haiku
What was normal Is past and gone forever
New one emerges

Pops of red dancing
Little tulip heads bowing
Sprite ballerinas

I am a teacher
Zoom is not my classroom, but
There they are, smiling

Hanging with my dog
Listening to radio
To keep us informed

Home-bound and pacing
A brand new way to realize
How lucky we are

Robins pluck at worms
Cardinals and blue jays fly
Social distancing

I live all alone
My phone has become a door
To welcome friends in

Laptop stacked on books.
Cooking tons from the pantry.
Sharing through Zoom calls.

Finches nesting -- their
future; So many people
Build World's futures

My best resident
Who became the best surgeon
On a vent for weeks

Kids take off their socks-
They are inside out, but why?
Makes laundry harder!

ferns bow heads, then yield
as I sidestep off the trail
to make room for you

Two souls work from home
Keyboards and laughter. Who knew
how much she farted?

A pedestal is
The place to be if, only If,
you possess wings

The kitchen door
blows open, and nothing slips in.
Something takes a breath.

Try to keep if full during
Corona virus

I see yellow and
pink in the bushes, trees and
masks of my neighbors.

Watching Spring unfold,
Nothing is impossible.
We are not alone.

Double ewe aitch wye
wye strong Pulse, Fresh Air, Radio
Times keep us calm

My dog likes to walk
Spring blooms bountiful birds sing
We hike every day

People out walking,
Friendly social distancing

Haiku Day! Stay in
Dream of those who are elsewhere
Do not get too close

Walk in the morning
Used to be ellipticals
Not a substitute

cover can reveal
the things that we are made of
and the things we'll be

I hate you, you bad germ
Go away, bring peace

Weekends no longer
Weekdays linger on and on
Household chores do too

We are a disease
Nature is trying to cure:

My window sees time
Pass as seasons slowly change.
Silent streets look back.

Set an intention
Loving kindness fills your heart
Share it with the world

When times seem so strange
And the world seems down side up
Morning sun brings hope

Deadly Virus threatens
Responders, Medical teams
Heroes all, save lives

News in the morning
Jennifer Lynn is my guide
Morning Edition!

At home binging shows
Thankful for Downton Abbey
What is a weekend?

heard on ‘HYY
fact-based, fact-checked reporting
trusting NPR

selfless and fearless
grocery, health, driving
in awe and grateful

My daily loop walk:
Flowers bloom, dogs bark…stillness
I know it by heart

I'm stuck in the house
With television and games
Who will win or lose?

A mother's wishes
To see them grow stronger, yes.
But happy too, no?

Who will talk to me
Now that I am here alone?
My imagination

Can you spare a dime?
Maybe even a quarter?
To help a neighbor?

Daily directive:
Send love to everyone.
Don't forget yourself.

Why I love my horse?
My wings have been clipped by life.
My horse lets me fly.

You want a haiku?
You REALLY want a haiku?
Okay, here it is.

Early morning birds—
Even with the windows closed,
I can hear them call.

this spring parts our worlds
search for a familiar song
future writes new tune

practice gratitude
the invisible virus
gives time to cherish

Seventeen sylla-
-bles is not enough to ex-
-press how bored I am

Only free month in
our lives, but we can't even go
out to live them

Making many foods
Currently going crazy
Let this be over

Dust floating in space,
Tied to those I most despise
With no room to breathe.

Off-beat clock ticking
The crow eats its own feathers
While the fire roars.

looking from inside
dying to talk to someone
not over a screen

Sleep lies far away
The wispy clouds high above
Are freer than I

We’re not stuck inside
As long as we have music
It can lift our souls

You are my coffee
drink. Breath of insightful air.
I owe you guys one.

I stare at my spouse
Day after day, looking deep
Will I kill him now?

Quarantine style
April Fools prank for our world:
Tear toilet paper

Bored to death here but
Building teams and barriers
Full of disarray

It’s the pandemic
And life is just chaotic
And idiotic

I hate to say this
Never thought i would say this
I really miss school

Golf courses closed, but
Online, there's foam balls, so now
Sand wedge to trash can

Today I ponder
Is my family safe yet
When will I be sure

My puppy tries to
Eat my feet, every day
When will she stop it

I can’t answer Will
Shortz’s Sunday puzzlers, but I
still love NPR!

My home feels empty,
but WHYY fills it
with thoughtful friendship

the world is too still
radio is a lifeline
I need “Fresh Air” now

I’m not viral yet
But radio is viral
By definition

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